Fylde basking in sunshine through the years
The recent sunny spell has put us in mind of some of the heatwaves the Fylde has experienced over the years and times the sun shone brightly on the coast.
These pictures from our archives certainly show local residents enjoying the sun and making the most of warm weather.
The top photo, which is undated but appears to date from around the turn of the 20th century, shows children and adults enjoying donkey rides on the beach.
Children can be seen playing with model boats in this snap from May 1953, taken at St Annes model boating and paddling lake.
Also in 1953, it was splashing good fun for these three girls – named as Wendy, Elaine and Jean Prutton – who made the most of the hot weather in sunny St Annes.
And this fine creation on the beach earned St Annes youngster Neville Holmes top prize in the sandcastle competition of August 1952.
But only one of these pictures was taken when the Fylde enjoyed its hottest temperatures.
In 1926, the weather caused quite a stir, with temperatures reaching the high 20s.
Back then, our sister paper the Lytham St Annes Express, reported: “There have been people who have been ready to testify on oath that such heat never was and never would be again.
“It was only the most enthusiastic who could raise the energy to trundle a wood or hit a tennis ball.
“A sun-oppressed populace, sweltering in the tropical heat, has resorted to the very minimum of garb sanctioned by respectability!”
It was so hot, Lytham Windmill even developed a crack in the upper part of the building.
A record-breaking heatwave in summer 1955 saw Lytham St Annes open-air attractions enjoy their best season “since the war”.
These two youngsters can be seen building sandcastles, in St Annes, during the scorching heat in August 1955.
There was 36 days of drought and the mercury hovered around the seventies for most of July and August. A hosepipe ban was introduced – even when it rained briefly in August, it was merely an ‘interlude’ in the sunny weather. In mid-July, weather experts at Squires Gate were predicting “boiling hot and clear blue skies” for the rest of the summer.
Temperatures in one week in August topped 29 degrees Celsius.
But in 1976, Fylde had, the Lytham St Annes Express reported, “probably its finest June ever”. Temperatures hit 33.7 degrees Celsius, the hottest recorded in the area. In the first five days of July, the mercury did not dip below 31 degrees C. The scorching summer meant booming trade for many St Annes businesses, including the open air swimming pool.